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Minutes - Audio Zoom Meeting 28th May

Éanna Whelan
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Cleaning Kit & Managing Practices

  • Desks – can’t have two people sharing a mixing desk as easily as before. Building it into hires that desks have to be cleaned thoroughly
  • Mic manufacturers have produced cleaning advice.
  • Headsets will be difficult, and will likely not happen until further down the line. Will people want to wear them? Once a headset is allocated to a performer, it is theirs for the duration of the run and is kept separate to any others. Performer puts on their own headset. They will become a more expensive option – potential of needing additional staff to manage mic dressing, no sharing of mics. Won’t work as it has in the recent past. Rigorous hand washing/sanitising practice is important (and should be first port of call ahead of using PPE)

Need to consider how to tutor people in putting on and taking off mics to ensure that mics aren’t damaged in the process.

  • What is the procedure if a mic breaks during a show – dresser jumps in to help, using proper sanitising practice, and PPE if necessary. There will need to be C19 specific instructions to ensure best practice.
  • Using UV light to sanitise. Need to be aware of shadowing issue and danger to people – need proper kit to use it for sterilising equipment. UVC or UVA.
  • Pop shields are not an adequate barrier to prevent contamination – too porous.
  • Having your own set of cans is a good idea anyway, but especially now.
  • Offering tablet control of console, to prevent crossover.
  • Encouraging performers to buy their own personal mics? (Especially vocals) Also has sonic benefit if a vocalist has a mic that they are used to and that they know suits them.
  • Particles can travel substantially further when singing – 6m rather than the regular 2m. Monitors will likely need careful sanitising too.
  • Rotation of equipment where possible to allow for 72 hour break between use. In and Out trays where possible in venues. Where this rotation isn’t possible, then careful cleaning practices need to come into play to ensure safe use.

Covid-19 Officer

  • New role. Likely to be a dedicated person, separate to existing role, as it is quite a big role.
  • Check out SLUA document laying out roadmap for reopening.
  • Production companies and venues will have to have them.


Social Distancing & Manual Handling

  • Not all items that are 2-person lifts are 2m long, so we need to consider how to maintain proper manual handling practice alongside C19 compliance.
  • In building trade, there are dedicated crews for carrying out lifts like that so that they are the only close contacts they have within the workplace. Financial viability of that is a serious barrier.
  • Trying to work in small, fixed groups is a way to minimise excessive close contacts.
  • Mask should be worn for close-contact lifts.
  • Smaller clusters of people will be able to work together in groups if proper contact tracing and testing is put in place. Once those groupings are maintained, much like the Gardaí have been working in pods.

Social Distancing on Stage

  • 25m2 is recommended space for performers on stage in SLUA doc.
  • This will increase for things like orchestral and opera work.

Scheduling and Managing Get-Ins

  • Production managers will be thinking about how to schedule production and get-ins to ensure that it is feasible to do a staggered get-in safely.
  • Radios will be useful to minimise shouting to minimise spread of droplets.
  • Need to consider practice around sharing tools – avoid wherever possible, and implement rigorous cleaning practices and hand hygiene.
  • Will also have to consider staggered get-outs as well as get-ins. Potential of spreading elements of get-out into the following morning.
  • Communication and advance planning will be key.
  • With regards to get-out, have to work from the starting point of assuming everything is potentially contaminated. You can still work effectively as long as you exercise best practice in hand hygiene.
  • Looking to corporate gigs where there are separate in and out crews from show crews – though that is another large expense that will be beyond smaller companies and gigs.
  • Tight programming, in which spaces are shared with a morning rehearsal -> evening gig, or matinee -> evening gig, will not be happening as it has been.
  • Considering safety of a back-line tech who is handling various instruments back stage during a gig. Heavy sanitising practices will have to be implemented.


  • There are still questions about how long virus will live on surfaces, but 72 hours is the current guideline.
  • Need to considering social distancing in loading and unloading – not having two people in the back of the van unloading, being aware of what kind of vehicle kit is being transported in ahead of time so that you can plan for it.

Self-Isolating When Necessary

  • Need to be able to hand over easily to another engineer. Need to produce necessary paperwork. Building shows so that they can be taken over at short notice.
  • Need support for freelancers to be able to take time off without losing too much income. If taking time off is going to put someone under financial strain, the instinct will be to push through.
  • As it stands, if you get a couple of days work you can come off the C19 payment then sign back on after as long as you can prove that the work was just the couple of days.
  • Stephen Donnelly to raise question in the Dáil about industry support when C19 payment winds up and until the sector is back on its feet and running again.
  • Discussion around pushing for the C19 payment to be extended until mass gatherings are possible again, and pushing for more access to rent allowances and other supports for freelance/self-employed workers to sustain them until work picks back up again.
  • Has to be provision in budgets for cover. What capacity is there for this?
  • Need to bear in mind the reduced budget of promoters and the possibility of rates lowering. Rates drop easily, but it’s much harder to bring them back up.


  • Look at “Business Continuity Voucher” and “E-Commerce Website Voucher” from local enterprise office. Worth putting application in.
  • Loan schemes and rates rebate scheme available. Not applicable to everyone, but worth looking at if you are in a premises that you pay rates on – between €2000 and €10,000 available depending on eligibility.
  • LiveNation have a crew hardship fund available for international crew.
  • As understood, VAT holiday is for the year.
  • Covid payment is subject to income tax. If it were to rise above your tax credits, for the year in combination with any other work you get. Bear it in mind and keep something back to pay the tax.
  • Hardship funds being created via AIST and Event Industry Group. It will be distributed by AIST once money is raised. There won’t be a judgement panel, once you apply and meet bare minimum criteria (work in the industry, have lost work, have an Irish bank account and an Irish address), it will be distributed on a first come first serve basis like with Civic Hardship Fund. However, unlike Civic Fund, there will be different rounds instead of one round.
  • Guidelines regarding the fund will be going up on the AIST website with details of how the money will affect your C19 payment eligibility and so forth.
  • No matter how much money is fundraised, it won’t be able to support everyone in the industry, so it can’t take the place of the C19 payment. Still lobbying to have the C19 payment extended. Look at the Event Industry census and other details on the EPIC working group website.
  • Equity also have a hardship fund for Equity members. Irish equity membership is open to all arts workers, not just performers.

Timelines & Expectations

  • What are the implications of so much work being put up for free online? Are we devaluing our jobs by making so much available for free? Building expectation of free access to work. Need to maintain visible presence, but what is the cost?
  • Hope is that towards the end of the year some gigs will begin to happen.
  • Musical Theatre and similar will be very difficult with social distancing in place.
  • Also have the question of how rehearsal processes will happen and when audiences will feel confident in attending
  • Need to plan for return in stage 5, even if majority of industry takes longer to kick back into gear.
  • In the meantime, should we be looking at how to capitalise on streaming? Delivering quality paid content. The original wave of online content is dying off, so this may be the moment to move to a different phase.
  • Taking lead from other countries who are further down the line in moving towards restarting work.
  • Venues are putting in a lot of work at the moment in terms of instigating C19 compliance, working out introduction of C19 officer, managing earlier communications with incoming companies and figuring out the questions of audience management.